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First mast stepped on the Charles W. Morgan

The 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan took an important step on her journey back to sea today when Mystic Seaport stepped the first of the ship’s three masts.

The Morgan was derigged and had her masts and spars removed at the outset of the ongoing five-year, multimillion dollar restoration at the Museum’s shipyard. Reinstalling the masts, known as “stepping” in nautical terminology, is an important occasion during a ship's construction.

“Stepping a mast is one of those milestones that marks both a new stage in the ship’s construction—or in this case, restoration—and the observance of a maritime tradition,” Mystic Seaport president Steve White said at a brief ceremony held alongside the ship. “It is tradition to place a coin under the base of a mast to provide good luck.”

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